Pittsburgh Set to Surpass Pre-Recession Employment Levels Due to Marcellus Shale Drilling Jobs

Pittsburgh and other energy-related regions of the U.S. are bouncing back from the recession faster than other parts of the country. For Pittsburgh, it’s due in no small part to Marcellus Shale drilling. According to a new report just released, Pittsburgh’s employment numbers will pull even and surpass pre-recession levels by early 2012.

The Pittsburgh area lost 37,500 jobs beginning in the third quarter of 2008 but will recover that number by the first quarter of 2012, according to a report released as the U.S. Conference of Mayors closed its 79th annual meeting in Baltimore. The report was prepared for the conference and the Council for the New American City by IHS Global Insight, a Colorado-based research firm.

Tom Jackson, senior economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "Many areas of Pennsylvania, including the Pittsburgh metro area, are benefitting from the Marcellus Shale drilling activity. That certainly is giving Pennsylvania a boost relative to the rest of the country in terms of employment and gross economic output."

About 30 areas—including Morgantown, W.Va., and State College, Centre County—are expected to return to pre-recession employment numbers before Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh area is one of about 10 areas, also including Dallas and Fort Collins, Colo.—expected to recoup lost jobs by early 2012.*

*Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Jun 21, 2011) – Study: Marcellus Shale helping region’s economy